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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, May 15, 2010

Campbell wins first state crown

 •  Pac-Five holds off Waimea for DII title

By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Campbell players celebrate after beating Punahou, 5-1, for the State Division I softball championship last night.

Photos by NORMAN SHAPIRO | Associated Press

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Katie Manuma pitched Campbell past Punahou to become the fourth member of her family to play on a state championship softball team.

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Making school history and completing a rare family quadruple in the process, Katie Manumā pitched a five-hitter with eight strikeouts and three walks last night to help Campbell rally past and hold off Punahou 5-1 for its first DataHouse Softball State Championship.

A standing-room-only crowd of about 1,200 at Rainbow Wahine Stadium watched the Sabers finish the regular and postseason at 18-1. Punahou, which also was seeking its first state title, ended at 14-4.

Manumā, a senior right-hander, became the fourth and final sister in her family to win a softball state championship medal, after older sisters Valana, Malamaisaua and Anita won titles with Kapolei and St. Francis.

"It feels great, we made history," said Katie Manumā, who will play for Brigham Young University next season. "We've been talking about this since freshman year, but we always came up short. It's a dream."

After striking out the first batter of the game on three pitches, Manumā left a first-pitch fastball over the plate and Mysha Sataraka promptly slammed it for a line drive home run over the left field fence.

"I've been facing her in outside leagues, and she's a great hitter," Manumā said. "A mistake pitch can cause something like that. But it was still real early, and we didn't let it bother us."

Campbell answered in the second inning after Nicole Arata led off with a single to left, advanced to second base on Daylene Antonio's sacrifice bunt, to third on Taylor Rosa-Ramon's groundout and scored when Collette Black reached on a two-base infield error.

The Sabers then took a 2-1 lead one batter later when Summer Palipti lined a single to right field scoring Black from second and made it 3-1 in the third after Sherae Esprecion reached on a one-out infield error, advanced to second on Manumā's single to left and scored on Arata's single to center.

"Nicole's been awesome all week, she's been clutching up," Campbell coach David Perreira said of Arata, who went 7 for 12 with seven RBIs in four tournament games. "She's been a rock."

Campbell stretched it to 5-1 in the fifth, on Black's two-out, bases-loaded two-run bloop single to short right field which second baseman Reina Furuya almost caught but dropped as she lunged and fell to the ground.

"It's a game of inches," Buffanblu coach Bob Makahilahila said.

Manumā, meanwhile, retired eight straight batters after Sataraka's home run and allowed only one runner past second base the rest of the game.

Punahou had runners at first and second with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and Sataraka at the plate, but Manumā induced a grounder to third baseman Gerika Pantohan, who made the unassisted tag to end the game.

The Sabers defense, which committed four errors in Thursday's semifinal victory over Castle, made zero last night.

"After last night's game, I told them they gotta get the jitterbugs out," Perreira said.

The team met for brunch at 'Ewa Beach Zippy's yesterday morning, then reconnected on campus in the afternoon before hopping on the bus to the University of Hawai'i campus.

"We relaxed, we hung out, we bonded," Manumā said.

She then set out to finish a four-year personal mission and bring home along-awaited trophy for her school.

"I'm the last of the Manumā sisters, and I didn't have a state championship yet," she said. "But this was our team's year, and my dad said to close it up with a bang so that all the sisters would have one."

Read his blog on high school sports at http://preptalk.honadvblogs.com

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